Secretive groups spend millions to influence state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits hit TV airwaves with attacks on state-level candidates, gaining traction since the U.S. Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… ondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. “It’s preferred to have the outside group doing the really brutal st …"

Democrats seize air supremacy in Senate battlegrounds

By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

Liberals aired more TV ads last week than their conservative foils in seven of the nine top Senate battlegrounds races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jeanne Shaheen":

"… in Denver; and KTUU-TV 2 in Anchorage, Alaska. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen accounted for 220 of WMUR’s Senate-focused ads, while Republican challen …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… ment of Corrections informed her that JPay Inc., a private company in Florida, would begin handling all deposits into inmates’ accounts. Sending a mo …"

"… t year, when her son was sentenced to 20 days in jail in St. Lucie County, Florida, for reckless driving, Linda wanted to buy him a second pair of underwear …"

"… r, she was instructed to make the money order out to JPay and send it to a Florida post office box. The company would credit it to Eddie’s account. Under …"

"… e fees related to his business. He said he did not know, for example, that Florida now charges its own fee for money order deposits after JPay processes the …"

Senate Democrats lead TV ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired more TV ads in key Senate races last week than any other group.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… oup co-founded by Rove after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010. Both American Crossroads and the DSCC aired about 1,000 …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… hool districts large and small, from California, Texas, Nevada and Utah to Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan.   In California, the San Diego Unifie …"

Mitch McConnell revs ad machine

By Michael Beckel

Kentucky’s embattled senior senator has aired roughly one campaign ad every five minutes since Labor Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jeanne Shaheen":

"… Brown of Massachusetts easily won. He now faces incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in what’s likely to be a close race. Mayday PAC argued it hel …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jeanne Shaheen":

"… n cash on hand. Best of the rest: New Hampshire Freshman Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen will likely face former GOP Sen. Scott Brown, who briefly represented Mass …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "simulation":

"… g to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Arnold Air Force Base and its flight simulation development complex, as well as a regional medical center, are the primary …"

Democrats embrace 'McCutcheon' decision

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Ahead of high-stakes battle for the Senate, Democrats create massive fundraising group blessed by contentious 'McCutcheon' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… the territory opened up in April after the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling. That decision eviscerated the so-called “aggregate” camp …"

"… nancially support at the maximum level. Paperwork recently filed with the Federal Election Commission indicates 26 Democratic candidates and party committees stand to benefit f …"

"… inst” McCutcheon and the 2010 campaign finance ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations to make unlimited expenditures for or against …"

Gun rights debate enters a new arena: the campus

By Wade Millward and Carmen Forman

The right to carry a firearm onto college campuses has become another issue in the gun control debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… holsters to promote campus carry — from Washington state to Michigan to Florida. It operates with little funding, relying instead on volunteers and social …"

"… Hammer, a former NRA president and the organization's longtime lobbyist in Florida, said that NRA will use the state’s preemption law to push state legisla …"

"… g to fix that," said Hammer, one of 76 NRA board members. On July 30, the Florida Carry lobby lost its suit against the University of Florida over the unive …"

"… n July 30, the Florida Carry lobby lost its suit against the University of Florida over the university’s guns-in-cars policy and whether colleges must let …"

Evolution of public-carry laws expands gun rights

By Kristen Hwang and Kate Murphy

Public-carry has moved from rare to widespread in the wake of recent shooting incidents

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… ered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University Number of states that prohibited concealed carry in 1981 …"

"… nto my side,” said Lee Bird, owner of Twin Birds Saddlery in Wickenburg, Arizona, 60 miles northwest of Phoenix. Bird openly carries a .38 Smith & Wess …"

"… ly carry, sometimes he keeps his gun concealed in his briefcase or pocket. Arizona has some of the strongest gun rights laws in the country. It is one of sev …"

Pat Roberts' merry band of boosters

By Dave Levinthal

Outside groups are using the power of positivity to help save career of Kansas' longtime U.S. senator.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… t — has funded ads that expressly attack Roberts, federal records show. Virginia-based Senate Conservatives Action, the super PAC arm of the Senate Conserv …"

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: much-maligned Affordable Care Act attracting for-profit insurers, driving prices down in some states.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… at least where they think they can make money. Leading the pack is UnitedHealth Group, the country’s biggest Health insurer. The company offered 2014 po …"

"… n only about a dozen states. During a call with investors last week, UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said the company will compete for 2015 Obamacare busin …"

"… p to choose from. And based on preliminary rate filings, the Ohio co-op, InHealth Mutual, is besting its established competitors by almost 25 percent. Here …"

"… of 5.1 percent while two nonprofit carriers, Colorado Access and Colorado HealthOP, plan to reduce premiums by 22 and 9.63 percent, respectively. Mary …"

Is this super PAC subverting disclosure rules?

By Michael Beckel

Georgia's GOP Senate primary has attracted big money from a super PAC funded by two nonprofit groups tied to an Ohio lobbyist.

Excerpts from this story referencing "America PAC":

"… 't, exactly. Nearly all of the money raised by the Citizens for a Working America PAC, a super PAC that's spent more than $2 million on ads boosting businessman …"

"… eral disclosure laws meaningless." In Georgia, the Citizens for a Working America PAC has touted Perdue as a "conservative outsider" and attacked his GOP oppone …"

"… hat amount accounts for more than 80 percent of the Citizens for a Working America PAC's receipts this election cycle. According to data provided to the Center …"

"… egrity Fund, is also listed as a major donor to the Citizens for a Working America PAC. That group has contributed $410,000, or nearly 20 percent, of the super …"

Bush bundlers boost pro-Gillespie super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Co-chairman of U.S. Senate candidate's finance committee also helps bankroll supportive super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Governors Association":

"… treasurer is attorney Michael G. Adams, who also serves as counsel to the Republican Governors Association and Republican Attorneys General Association. Paul Bennecke, a Georgia-bas …"

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… D.C.-based group has given $2.5 million directly to a committee supporting Florida’s Republican incumbent, Rick Scott, and $1.5 million to a committee …"

Case reopened after Center reveals judge's conflict of interest

By Kytja Weir

Center investigation identifies conflicted judge leading to new hearing for discrimination case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Supreme Court":

"… Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The appellate courts are second only to the U.S. Supreme Court in terms of seniority. Marion F. Walker, the attorney representing Jacobs …"

Limited liability companies power West Virginia super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Group funded by limited liability companies boosts West Virginia Republican Alex Mooney.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… Holding Co. LLC at a Boston address, but there is no company registered in Massachusetts with that name, according to state business records. Furthermore, an emplo …"

Toomey discloses trip after inquiry

By Michael Beckel

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey failed to disclose a March trip to an exclusive, 'off-the-record' conference.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House Speaker":

"… ; Republican politicians such as former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christ …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… ver two versions of a bill designed to ease a new regulation that affected banks, part of the sweeping 2010 overhaul of financial laws known as the Dodd-F …"

"… ancial laws known as the Dodd-Frank Act. The dispute? Whether to give the banks everything they asked for, or whether to give them even more. Rep. Scott …"

"… postpone a final vote so he could contact “stakeholders,” code for the bankers who wanted the change. Then Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, the committee …"

"… as its friends in Washington. Financial companies — from the biggest megabanks to small payday lenders — have some of the best. Less than six years a …"

FEC sends senators erroneous warnings

By Dave Levinthal

Politicians received notices they violated election laws due to a communications mix-up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… is, campaign manager for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia, told the Center for Public Integrity. "We definitely filed the report …"

"… p. Paul Broun, R-Ga.; Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.; Republican Karen Handel of Georgia and Republican Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Several volunteered trackin …"

GAO report again finds black lung proposal supported by science

By Chris Hamby

A new government study supports reducing the dust limit workers encounter in mines; the industry is pushing back against stronger rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… Nine months later, U.S. Reps. Hal Rogers of Kentucky and Jack Kingston of Georgia, both Republicans, asked the GAO to conduct the study that led to this wee …"

Residents of polluted U.S. communities fear planned cuts in EPA enforcement

By Ronnie Greene and Chris Hamby

The EPA's "Next Generation Compliance" plan would lead to fewer inspections of, and enforcement actions against, polluters.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pat McCrory":

"… uke Energy coal ash spill into the Dan River. In North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 29 years before taking office — a connection …"

GOP opposition to Obamacare baffles Dr. Sullivan

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former HHS Secretary Sullivan says Obamacare resembles plan crafted by Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "health insurance":

"… ate. That provision — the requirement that Americans enroll in a private health insurance plan if they are not eligible for a government program like Medicare or Me …"

"… he way it should be, (the law) will result in more people having access to health insurance, and improve the health status of our citizens," Sullivan told the Montgom …"

"… g the charge against Obamacare today — “had the similar concept of the health insurance exchange.” That plan also would have provided subsidies to help low-inco …"

Japan confirms it will return some nuclear explosive materials to U.S.

By Douglas Birch

The amount of plutonium is a small fraction of what the country could soon begin making annually.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Russia":

"… nbsp;limits on plutonium stockpiles, due to opposition from countries like Russia and India that are seeking to develop commercial plutonium nuclear program …"

"… us by their absence from the list are the nuclear powers France, China and Russia. The signers of the deal also pledged to follow the International Atomic …"

FEC to Claire McCaskill: Show us your money

By Dave Levinthal

Missouri Democrat says missing campaign finance report was lost in the mail

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… ndependents, although several Republicans, including Sens. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkows …"

Defense Department poorly managed design, construction of F-35 fighter, auditor says

By Douglas Birch

A detailed new report offers some insight into why the most costly weapon system in U.S. history has so many problems and defects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… A June 2012 audit of F-35 subcontractor L-3 Communications in Alpharetta, Georgia, which is building the cockpit display system, found was a “failure …"

Audit reveals widespread problems in security system used by the Navy

By Rebecca LaFlure and R. Jeffrey Smith

The U.S. military is widely using a security system that lets felons onto its bases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… y Yard, the site of the Sept. 16 shooting rampage. Last week, an internal Pentagon report called into question how the Rapidgate system became so widely used …"

"… m and other threats. Some of the results, according to a new audit by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General, have not been pretty. At the ten Navy ins …"

Getting adults on board for alternatives to locking up kids

By Susan Ferriss

As states confront high costs of incarceration, a push to better help kids before they become adult offenders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "International Association":

"… the clout to push for change in local and state policies: they include the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Center for State Courts and the National …"

Is the Veterans Affairs Dept. too stringent on veteran-owned companies?

By Steven Rich

News21 investigation details the complex verification process for contracts aimed at veteran-owned companies.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… ess in uncovering companies accused of posing as veteran-owned. In 2011, a Georgia man was indicted on fraud charges for posing as a SDVOSB. Last year, an Il …"

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